Good, the True and the Beautiful: A Quest for Meaning / Edition 1

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Why should we be good? How do we know what is true? What defines beauty? The Good, the True and the Beautiful asks critical questions about who we are and what makes life worthwhile.

Michael Boylan offers a stimulating introduction to philosophy, exploring issues to do with ethics, knowledge and aesthetics, and how they relate to our everyday lives. He proposes a highly original understanding of the good, the true and the beautiful that seeks to answer many of the questions that have traditionally occupied philosophers. Using thought experiments to engage the reader in "doing" philosophy, Boylan explores what it means to be good, true and beautiful in today's world. The Good, the True and the Beautiful takes the reader on a fascinating journey of self-discovery.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Boylan (The Process of Argument) endeavors to interest readers in philosophy by asking them to construct a personal worldview. He begins by examining various theories of the good, offering thought experiments to help evaluate these theories: suppose, e.g., that you could win an Olympic medal by taking a certain drug that would kill you in five years. Would you take it? Material acquisition, notoriety, and the pursuit of power for its own sake may arouse our attention, but they are not ultimately satisfying. To seek the good of others, Boylan maintains, is essential to happiness. He next deals with the theory of knowledge, and his discussion is informed by wide scholarship. His account of Plato on the divided line is particularly insightful. Then he finally turns to aesthetics. In his concise account of the major theories of art, he accomplishes the remarkable feat of explaining Heidegger in simple language. All in all, Boylan displays a thorough knowledge of both classical and modern views. Highly recommended for all philosophy collections.
—David Gordon

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781847061577
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
  • Publication date: 8/1/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,509,316
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Boylan is Professor and Chair in philosophy at Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia, USA. His most recent books are The Extinction of Desire (Blackwell, 2007), a philosophical novel and A Just Society (Rowman and Littlefield, 2004), a monograph on ethics and political philosophy.
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Table of Contents


Part I: The Good

1. Being Good

2. The Self and Others

3. Self-fulfillment

Part II: The True

4. Finding Out What is True

5. Scepticism, Illusion and the Sources of Knowledge

6. Integrating Truth into the Quest

Part III: The Beautiful

7. Finding Out What is Beautiful: Ancient Theories
8. Finding Out What is Beautiful: Modern and Contemporary Theories
9. The Quest for the Beautiful



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